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Arkansas Boat Registration Summary

Arkansas boat registration summary is a free resource designed to inform the boating public about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Arkansas. The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular state. Simply click on the "Wiki-Share" link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Registration Agency Arkansas Boat RegistrationState of Arkansas
Department of Finance and Administration

Boat Registration Website
State Revenue  Offices
Please contribute any experience or knowledge you may have about registering a boat in Arkansas ....  Wiki-Share
Registration Overview Arkansas boat registrations are administered by the Department of Finance and Administration and are handled through their regional revenue offices. Arkansas is a "registration only" state and does not issue boat titles. Titling and registration is not required for outboard boat motors. Boat trailers must be registered but are not issued titles.
There are approximately 189,695 boats registered in the State of Arkansas. This accounts for 1.6% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements Boat registration numbers in Arkansas begin with an "AR" designation which is followed by four numbers and then two letters. These must be displayed on all non-documented boats along with registration sticker tabs.
Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers. However they must display an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. An official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.
All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. Owners with vessels manufactured prior to 1972  or those with no identification numbers may apply with the Fish and Game Commission for a hull number assignment which will be prefixed with the letters "ARZ". Hull number inspections are required from the Game and Fish Commission whenever there is a discrepancy.
Registration Requirements Registration in Arkansas is required on all boats propelled by sail or motor, including trolling motors. Coast Guard documented vessels are exempt from registration. Boats registered in another state are also exempt from registration for a visitation period of 90 days. Arkansas does not issue conditional or bonded boat registrations, but has other provisions for registering boats without a previous title or registration.
Arkansas is a registration only state and does not issue boat titles. However a current registration certificate may substitute as proof of ownership on non-documented vessels.
Arkansas does not title or register outboard motors. However, their serial numbers can be registered with the Department of Finance and Administration
Ownership and Liens Arkansas does not issue boat titles therefore security interests in non-documented boats are recorded through Uniform Commercial Code filings. Tax liens are sometimes flagged in the state's registration database, recorded as Uniform Commercial Code filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk's office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic's liens or other non-secured claims against registered boats which are not documented.
If the vessel is USCG documented, a security interest may be perfected by filing a preferred vessel mortgage. These are recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center with the earliest submissions taking priority. Other lien claims can be filed in the same manner although these function as notifications only. All such filings are indexed on the vessel's underlying abstract of title.
Title Searches Boat registration records in Arkansas are maintained by the Office of Motor Vehicles. It does not facilitate online searches for the general public but registration information may be obtained by submitting a Boat Record Request form. It is also reported that they will verify information from registration certificates in hand. Boat security interests in non-documented boats can be found by searching the state's Uniform Commercial Code records. Information on how to go about this can be found on their Secretary of State website or by using a public record vendor.
State and Federal tax liens on boats are not always recorded in a consistent manner and are therefore difficult to identify. They may show up as a red flag on state registration records, as UCC filings, in state revenue records, in a county clerks records, or on a vessel's abstract of title for documented boats. Given these disparities, it may be worth obtaining the services of a public record vendor that has access to a broad range of personal property lien recordings. Information about business and legal entities that own boats registered, titled, or documented in Arkansas can be obtained by searching the Secretary of State's business records online.
Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center. However, these are encoded and can be difficult to interpret, especially on older vessels with numerous recordings. It may be worthwhile to contact a professional vessel documentation company for assistance in this regard.
Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research in Arkansas. These include liabilities for items such as services, equipment, fuel, storage, parts, supplies, and damages which can become attached to the boat itself regardless of ownership. One of the most useful tools for doing this kind of research is our premier boat history search database. It is a gathering of eight nationwide databases into a single interface which can be searched by numerous criteria. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers.
Resources Boat History Search Database
Abstract of Title
Arkansas Fish and Game Commission
Arkansas Secretary of State
Boat Record Request Form
Business Entity Search
National Vessel Documentation Center
Public Record Vendors
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Contributors Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration


Visit our database page for the nation's premier boat history report with a full compliment of title search resources. Includes eight maritime databases all rolled into one convenient interface. A must-have service for any prospective buyer, marine lender, or maritime professional.


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